Kansas cracks down on metal dealers after thefts

Wichita EagleMarch 30, 2011 

TOPEKA — To cut down on metal theft and the damage it does to utilities and other businesses, the state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to require scrap dealers to register with their local government and keep detailed records on customers.

House Bill 2312 also establishes strict eligibility requirements for scrap dealers and specifies that scrap yards cannot accept the type of wire used by utilities if the identifying sheathing is burned or stripped away.

It also changes the calculation of penalties for metal theft. At present, the cost of the crime is based on the value of the stolen metal. Under HB 2312, it would be based on the cost of restoring the damage to the property.

"The amount of monetary damage and crime level goes up accordingly," which in many cases would lead to tougher sentences, said Sen. Pete Brungardt, R-Salina, who carried the bill on the floor.

The bill's provisions require that scrap dealers keep a dossier of information on customers who sell more than $50 worth of scrap, including: name, address, sex, date of birth and a copy of the person's driver's license or other government- issued identification. In some cases, a thumbprint would be required.

Read the complete story at kansas.com

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